What I believe is a secret.
I realized early on that I have no ambition. I always said what I thought should be said when someone asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. “The first woman president” I said for many years. My mother would beam, my teachers would coo, and I’d be satisfied that they were satisfied. Then, when I realized I had to start giving a real answer, I said “A forensic pathologist”. I kept that one going right up until I failed out of college in the first semester. It sure sounds good doesn’t it? People loved to hear a young lady say big fancy words and sound so ambitious. “Oh, really?!” They’d gush, “Do you know what that is?” Of course I knew. I had just enough drive to find out what it was, just enough to satisfy the masses for the moment. Secretly, I knew all along that I never really wanted much. I just wanted to BE. I never lusted after fame or fortune, never wanted power or prestige. And so, I realized early on that what I believe in is satisfaction.
I don’t mean over indulgence, laziness, promiscuity, etc. I mean real- easy to fall asleep at night- satisfaction. I just never had the drive that those around me did. I would tell people that I wanted to be rich and famous. I was going to do amazing things, rewrite history, invent something, discover something… and all the while in secret I would gaze at the sea of non-descript sedans on the highway and wish I were the driver of one of them. I would stroll past the single family homes in our lower middle class neighborhood and dream of the day when I graced my own doorway… old housecoat and a head-wrap. Perhaps I would sip a warm cup of coffee, stare at the grass needing a cut as I stole a few moments while the baby slept. I wanted to sit and write out checks for my bills and fuss about the garbage not going out. I wanted to drag myself to my good enough job (where I really didn’t do much), come home and feign exhaustion. I wanted to have philosophical conversations with my young daughter and ridiculous arguments with my husband… hard working, under appreciated, honest, and loyal, just like me. I wanted to blend into the fabric of America. I wanted to be satisfied with my life.
I never, however, dared tell anyone that! Why should I be ashamed of aspiring to be average? I don’t know, but for some reason it’s still a secret. Well, it was…
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